Negative Lab Pro 2.0: C41 Scanning Heaven!

Scanning film has always been a bit of a pain. However, with time comes progress, and Nate over at Negative Lab Pro has been doing some awesome work, making scanning C-41 film using a DSLR or mirrorless easier than ever. However, using Negative Lab Pro with a flatbed scanner has always been a bit lacking. That just changed with Negative Lab Pro 2.0 and an unlikely partner: Vuescan.

Now, I know I've been vocal about my distaste for Vuescan. I'm just not a fan of the general layout, ease of use, etc. However, Vuescan does something that most scanning packages do not: it can create an actual raw .dng file. Negative Lab Pro 2.0 takes advantage of this capability and uses custom profiles to convert those raw files directly in Lightroom. The results are very impressive!

This is a "one-click" conversion. Add a touch of saturation and contrast and I'm a happy camper!

As I say in the accompanying video, DSLR (or mirrorless) scanning is awesome, but for me, it isn't practical because of reasons of space and light. Namely, you need an even light source, set up in an area with a minimum of stray light. Of course, I have a darkroom, but it's already cluttered in there, and the last thing I want to do is add more mess to the equation. Using the scanner that I already possess to create awesome scans (albeit not quite as sharp as a DSLR scan) makes more sense for me. Check out the video for the workflow and see how easy it is to get good results! I'm not sponsored by Negative Lab Pro or Vuescan. The workflow is just that good.

There's an excellent forum over at Negative Lab Pro's website that has more info and best practices on scanning into Vuescan. I'm sure following those tips can only make your experience even better!

You can pick up a free trial of Negative Lab Pro 2.0 here and Vuescan here.

Special thanks to my subject, musician, and photographer, Cognito.

Log in to post comments

17 Comments

Looks very cool, you can also import the DNG files into capture one pro and invert levels to work on the negs. My Scanning heaven is... https://www.phaseone.com/en/Cultural-Heritage/Film-Scanning-Solutions just a little more expensive :-)

Hans Rosemond's picture

I'll have to check that out!

Hi, Nate here - maker of NLP. I could be wrong, but I don't believe C1 Cultural Heritage supports Vuescan RAW DNGs... or at the very least, I don't believe they have built specific profiles for scanner models. On their own, the Vuescan RAW DNGs will not work well unless a specific raw calibration profile is made to tell the raw processor how to interpret the data, and I make these by hand for NLP, which is part of the reason the results are so much better. Also, C1 Cultural Heritage cost $6,000...

There are no profiles, so yes you do have to get a bit creative... im using c1 pro, not CH. The Cultural Heritage setup is mega money, $60,000+ just put the link up for fun :-}

Beverley Nash's picture

Hi Nate - drop me an email... I#m responsible for the marketing of VueScan. Would be good to have a talk.. beverley@hamrick.com

eric krouse's picture

One of the great Southeastern Camera folks!

Hans Rosemond's picture

Yes sir! I practically live there. He's one of the best sales people there.

I second this! I was like hey wait a minute I recognize that guy...

Hey there, was curious which southeastern folk you were talking about :)

Sylvain Durand's picture

Thanks for taking the time to do this video! Also I really like the picture you used in your video!
This software doesn't seems to have the controls like the levels or the curves that you could apply BEFORE converting the fille in TIFF.

Hans Rosemond's picture

In the software you can adjust colors and use sliders, but only until you apply the conversion. But, since the conversion is non-destructive, you can go back in and fiddle with the file and reconvert should you want to make changes.

Interesting product. Nice to see new content from you

michaeljin's picture

Looks like a fantastic solution.

Hi, Nate here - maker of Negative Lab Pro. Thanks for the awesome video, Hans. Really thrilled to see the results you are getting with v2.0! I've had so many film shooters this past year asking for a better way to support scanner capture, so it's really wonderful to finally see it out in the wild. Cheers!

Jaran Gaarder Heggen's picture

Could you please make this for us jumping of the Adobe train to?

Affinity Photo, C1, On1 or DxO Photolab... and maybe also Darktable...

I would have paid double if I could have used it in any other software (Or as a stand alone Software)

To few of those software support the DNG Raw files from Vuescan...

Looks like a really great software....

Hans Rosemond's picture

My pleasure! I'm all for anything that keeps in front of a screen for less time. Great job with the software. Looking forward to what you come up with next.

Beverley Nash's picture

Hi - I'm responsible for the marketing of VueScan. Really good to see this.. and we're always happy to take on board suggestions for any changes to VueScan :-) Let us know if we can help you or anyone else with any scanning questions... beverley@hamrick.com